Juggling time zones, hotels with patchy Wi-Fi, liaising with employees back home, and trying to stay under your baggage allowance when you’re packing product samples and marketing material – whether you’re a solopreneuer or the founder of a startup, business travel can get complicated. However, most of us still think the added stresses are worth it.
According to a survey of Collective Hub readers, 92 percent of 22 to 44 year olds travel regularly as part of their work and in their free time. As an entrepreneur, practically every week, I’m on a plane to a speaking gig, conference or to mentor a startup founder in another part of the country.
The good news? You can take the pain out of staying away for work (or play!) and begin to see even travel time as an enjoyable experience. Here’s how to keep your peace on a business trip, from the planning stage through to the arrival gate.
Upskill in the Air
Stepping onto a long-haul flight? Instead of feeling frustrated, take your mind to another level. I love using extended journeys, whether it’s by car or plane, to dive into a new subject, research an exciting avenue or explore a different industry. Currently, as I plan Collective Hub’s digital evolution, I’m watching video talks by tech greats (StudioCX, the in-flight entertainment system on Cathay Pacific Airways has a selection of TED talks). A friend taught herself to code on a flight from Sydney to Dublin. Use your down-time to wise up!
When jetting to a business meeting, it’s easy to ‘pack’ your deck on your laptop—but what about physical samples? On a trip to America I travelled with 200 copes of Collective Hub’s print mag. The secret? Send as much ahead as possible. I know founders who have their entire luggage sent ahead using a service like Send My Bag so they can skip the carousel line. If you’re on a research trip and get carried away gathering ‘inspiration’, services like Luggage Free will send it home for you.
Exercise at the Airport
If short layovers make you edgy in case you miss a connecting flight, choose a longer layover option – and fit a workout in. There are now extensively-equipped gyms in many airport terminals, from Roam Fitness at Washington International (where workout clothes and running shoe are available to rent) to yoga rooms in airports like San Francisco, Miami and London Gatwick (download a yoga app like Alo Moves and take a class virtually). In need of a shower afterwards? With Cathay Pacific’s Business Plus programme, you can earn points and redeem them for lounge access.
Keep it Simple
Use technology to streamline your travel bookings, especially if you’re a manager with multiple staff members jetting to multiple destinations across the calendar year. Cathay Pacific’s Business Plus programme is a one-stop portal for travel management, where you can track all employees flights, accrue points and assign free benefits like upgrades and lounge access (best boss ever!). For your phone, apps like TripCase allow you to live-track flights and send alerts if you face a delay or your departure gate changes.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
If you’re a frequent flyer things will go wrong sometimes! You can’t always control a situation, but you can control your reactions, whether it’s seeing a flight delay as a positive (‘I finally have time to call my mother!’) or using the loneliness of solo travel as motivation to network (it’s amazing who you can meet at a departure gate). If you’re a hot-headed traveller, download an app like Headspace in advance – their guided meditations can ease anxiety, insomnia and a fear of flying. Happiness is a journey, not a destination!
Business Plus is a programme that rewards companies for flying on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon for business travel. It helps your company better manage business travel bookings while rewarding both the company and its employees. There are 5 tiers in this program – as each tier is reached, your company can unlock rewards. For more information on Cathay Pacific’s Business Plus programme, click here.